Following the threat allegedly issued by a cult group to attack the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife tomorrow, June 1, many panic-stricken students have fled their hostels on campus to safer places.
Though the management of the University and it’s alumni have reportedly allayed the fear of the students and parents, some parents have started calling their wards to come back home while others have left the campus hostels to stay with their mates staying off-campus.
When our correspondent visited the campus on Friday, some students were seen with small bags as they were exiting the campus.
As at noon today, some hefty and fierce-looking security agents were sighted at the main gates and other strategic locations on campus.
Some students, who spoke with our correspondent on the conditions of anonymity, attributed the fleeing to fear and the viral nature of the threat.
“Some of us who are staying on campus this weekend are just risking their lives. Though some are saying the threat to attack us is empty, I don’t want to take any chances. It’s better I return home and spend my weekend with my parents since they stay close. Even, if I plan to remain here (campus), my parents would not allow it,” a student who was on her way out of the campus told The Point.
However, a male student, Bamidele Sowunmi, said he would not leave the campus, as the threat should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“No cultist dares enter here to attack us again. It happened in the past and we have vowed it will never repeat itself again. More so, the management has assured us of water tight security. Those who are running away are female students and you know that they always panic over everything,” he said.
The Point gathered that a certain cult group identified as “Cultists of Aloha clan” had threatened to invade the university campus on June 1 and “rain bullets of death, sorrow and grief on innocent students.”
It was gathered that the cult group is on vengeance mission, following the alleged arrest and punishment meted out to its members by the management.
The cultists also accused the school’s Man O War team of joining the school security in dealing with its members recently.
One of them simply identified as “OJU”, had authored and issued the threat on his twitter handle, which later went viral.
Responding to the open letter that went viral on social media, the school management, through its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju assured students and parents of adequate security.
“This is to inform the general public that the Management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife, is aware of an open letter, trending online, purportedly issued by a pseudonymous “Cultists of Aloha clan” threatening to invade our University campus on ” June 1 to rain bullets of death, sorrow and grief on innocent students”.
“Ordinarily, it is not ideal for the University to respond to such an open letter, detailing what the management is doing to nip the said attack in the bud, considering the implication of such action security wise; but we consider it expedient to inform the stakeholders in the education sector, particularly our students, their parents and, or guardians, alumni and those who place high premium on lives and sanctity of human existence that the university management is on top of the situation, having informed the agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of securing lives and property, in addition to the internal security mechanism that have been put in place.
“We hereby assure all parents and, or guardians that the security of their children and wards is guaranteed and that the students are advised to go about their normal academic activities without any apprehension, but should be security conscious and quickly report any strange movement to the appropriate organ of the university.”
Our correspondent observed that the security men manning OAU main gates now demand for students’ school identity cards before allowing them to gain entry into the campus.
This was said to be part of the security measures put in place by the management to frustrate the cultists threat of attack.
Nonetheless, some graduates of the university have asked the students to stay vigilant.
They blamed the insufficient campus hostel facilities for the cultism menaces and tasked the management to build more hostels on campus for students.
A statement signed by a former Chief Security Officer of the Great Ife Students’ Union, Adeleke Goddey and a former Speaker, Great Ife Students’ Union Parliament, S. Destiny expressed worry over the spate of cultism that are witnessed outside the university campus.
“We advise the University Management to take all the necessary steps to forestall this planned attack and one of the ways to do this is to unconditionally reinstate the proscribed Students’ Union in order to give the Students a platform to directly participate in the task of securing and advancing the course of the Students.
“Students must organize and come together in peaceful gatherings to work out innovative ideas to forestall the menace of cultism rearing its head all over again on our campus. It is a duty that some of us executed with sleepless nights and its attendant risks. It’s a generational task and we beseech you to play your own part well.
“This brings us to the just implemented accommodation policy that has exposed most of our Students to incessant robberies, rape, attacks, cult-like bullying and all forms of insecurity. Historically, the last set of hostels built on OAU campus [Angola and Mozambique halls] were built during the Ife-Modakeke war. The essence was to ensure that enough accommodation was made available to accommodate Students who were hitherto aboding off campus.
“That the same University is today embarking on a policy that exposes about 70% of its Students to gruesome living conditions, transportation crisis, rent exploitation and unwholesome security breaches walks logic on its head. We reliably gathered from trusted sources that the said policy was hastily implemented to meet the private business needs of some top-shots officers of the University who built and owned most of the private hostels in town.”